Job OverviewWorking as a home health aide can be a highly rewarding job. Perhaps not necessarily financially, but being able to help those who cannot care for themselves and seeing how you impact their lives and help them get through these hardships can make many people satisfied and proud of what they do.
Home health aides typically assist persons in need through various daily activities and chores which range from bathing and dressing to cleaning the house and cooking. They make it possible for some people to live on their own despite the fact that they would normally need higher levels of care. Besides helping the people with their daily chores, they can also arrange different meetings and leisure activities in order to allow them to stay in contact with the local community.
There are some states in the US who also allow home health aides to administer medication or to perform other procedures such as checking vital signs if they are supervised by a healthcare professional. The job as a home health aide can offer people the opportunity to not only improve the lives of those who could never have afforded it otherwise, but also to get hands-on experience. Home health aides do not only work in private homes, as there are many who clients who may be living in retirement communities, group homes or other forms of traditional housing.
With growth rate predictions of 70% over the course of the next ten years, home health aides will have no problems finding a job. Those who are also certified by accredited associations will also have more opportunities in getting better positions.
SalaryAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aides received an annual median wage of $20,610 in 2011, with certified HHA receiving as much as $29,530, while the lowest salaries were around $16,410. Ambulatory health care services are the ones who are currently offer the highest wages in the industry.
TrainingThere are no education requirements in order to qualify as a home health aide, and there are even some states in the US where not even a high school diploma is mandatory. However, there are other states which requires home health aides to go through preparation classes before being able to start work.
Most home health aides are trained either on the job, or by other HHAs, healthcare professionals or even family members. Since every person will have different needs, a home health aide is required to undergo training which ranges from a few hours to a few days, and some government agencies offer training classes and require that an exam is passed at the end.
Reviews & AdviceThe job as a home health aide can be very rewarding as long as the person practicing it enjoys helping those in need. Since there are no special requirements in order to work in this field, people wanting to work as a HHA just need to be sociable, willing to help and to be capable of adapting and improving along the way. They should also be patient, as some clients might be difficult to work with.
Home health aides might work differently depending on the job, as those working in private homes might see just one patient, while others might deal with five to six patients per day. Although becoming emotionally involved is not desired, it often happens due to our human nature.